009: Summer of Spies with the Telegraph’s Jake Kerridge

009: Jake Kerridge tells us all about the Summer of Spies

London is the place to be for us spy fans. On the heels of the announcement that John Le Carre will make a rare public appearance in September, Waterstones Gower Street unveil the Summer of Spies, a Classic Spy Fiction Club series of events, hosted by Jake Kerridge.

A Summer of Spies with Jake Ketteridge
A Summer of Spies with Jake Ketteridge

Waterstones (British equivalent to Barnes and Noble) ask that you join them ‘in July and August as we celebrate the very best spy fiction with quizzes, cocktail parties, book clubs and much more!'

Throughout SUMMER OF SPIES, Telegraph crime & thriller critic Jake Kerridge, will be hosting a classic spy fiction book club in store. Go along for a glass of wine or two and laid-back, fun conversation about some of the spy genre’s best loved titles. Here is the full line up with dates:

Jake Kerridge - Host of Summer of Spies
Jake Kerridge – Host of Summer of Spies

July 18: Classic Spy Fiction Book Club #2: Eric Ambler's Epitaph for a Spy

Eric Ambler
Eric Ambler

July 25: Rereading Le Carré: Nicholas Searle on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

John Le Carre
John Le Carre

August 1: Quiz Night

August 8: Rereading Le Carré #2: Mick Herron on Absolute Friends

Mick Herron
Mick Herron

August 15: Classic Spy Fiction Book Club #3: Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of the Day

Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen

August 22: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to the Eagle Has Landed

Mike Ripley
Mike Ripley

August 29: Classic Spy Fiction Book Club #4: Len Deighton's The IPCRESS File

Len Deighton
Len Deighton

September 5: Rereading Le Carré: Charles Cumming on The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Charles Cumming
Charles Cumming

(Spybrary Host Shane Whaley is excited to attend this one. Be sure to say hi! I land that morning so look for the jet lagged one!)


Jake shares his insights on the spy literature genre, not only is he extremely well read and on top of his game. He has interviewed many a spy writer including John Le Carre and Len Deighton. This is an episode of Spybrary that you will not want to miss!

On Episode 009 of Spybrary Spy Podcast we caught up with host Jake Kerridge to find out more including:

  • What is behind the recent resurgence of the spy novel.
  • How did the Summer of Spies come about.
  • What is the format of the evening.
  • Why certain spy books were chosen.
  • Who is coming along to read from some of the spy books.
  • Mick Herron's favourite John Le Carre book is Absolute Friends (same as Spybrary host Shane Whaley so the author of Slow Horses clearly has great taste.)
  • Jake's top 20 spy novels of all time, why and how picked them.
  • Who is Jake's favourite spy author?
  • What is it like to get paid to read books?
  • How does Jake evaluate a thriller novel for review. Does he have a set criteria, formula or checklist?
  • Which London restaurant has the original draughts (checkers) board from the movie Our Man in Havana?
  • Interviewing Len Deighton and John Le Carre
  • Why Len Deighton stopped writing spy fiction?
  • Why John Le Carre maybe having fun with us during some of his interviews?
  • How John Le Carre could have made a great actor
  • What spy TV series was so bad that Terence Stamp swore never to work on TV shows ever again

    And much much more!


Spy books and movies mentioned on Episode 009 of Spybrary with Jake Kerridge and Shane Whaley

Our Man in Havana – Graham Greene
Our Man in Havana – Movie starring Alec Guinness
Other Paths to Glory – Anthony Price
Traitor in the Family – Nicholas Searle
Helen MacInnes
A Perfect Spy – John Le Carre
A Perfect Spy – TV Series – Ray McAnally
Absolute Friends – John Le Carre
The Little Drummer Girl – John Le Carre
The Little Drummer Girl (Movie) with Diane Keaton
Chessgame (TV Series) Terence Stamp
Game Set and Match TV Series starring Ian Holm, books written by Len Deighton.
The Sandbaggers – Note this is a Region 2 version, there is a Region 1 but its not cheap. Suggest searching on ebay. They are also available on Youtube.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy TV Series
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Mike Ripley
John Le Carre: The Biography – Adam Sisman
The Pigeon Tunnel -John Le Carre
Charlie M – Brian Fremantle
Charlie Muffin movie – A Deadly Game – very hard to get on DVD so here is a Youtube link.
Apologies I called this ‘The Deadly Affair' – got mixed up with the movie adaptation of Call for the Dead which was called The Deadly Affair.

Rules Restaurant London

Follow Jake Kerridge on Twitter
Read more of Jake's reviews and interviews here
Jake Kerridge's Top 20 Best Spy Novels
Waterstones Gower Street Website
Waterstones Gower Street On Twitter
The Deighton Dossier

If you enjoyed this episode of Spybrary please consider leaving us review on Itunes here
Feel free to join our Spybrary Facebook Group and continue the conversation about the Summer of Spies.

Spybrary Spy Podcast Discussion Group
Talk more about Episode 009 in our Spybrary discussion group

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